"Why Indian selectors have..." - Matthew Hayden on Virat Kohli facing heavy criticism in T20 World Cup 2024

Published - 19 Jun 2024, 10:26 PM | Updated - 19 Jun 2024, 10:28 PM

Matthew Hayden and Virat Kohli
Matthew Hayden and Virat Kohli {PC:X}

Former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden opened up about the form of Virat Kohli in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024. He said that the Indian batter in the Carribean conditions is a world-class batter and he will be able to work out things in the Super 8 stage of the tournament. 

India batter Virat Kohli so far hasn't looked at his best in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024. The move to promote him up the order hasn't worked at all as he failed terribly in the league stage of the tournament and couldn't go in double figures even once. 

Virat Kohli, who scored 741 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, was expected to play a big role for the team in the T20 World Cup 2024. But it didn't work at all. He started the tournament with a 1-run knock against Ireland at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York. 

In the second game against Pakistan, Virat Kohli played a gorgeous cover drive but immediately after that perished, scoring just  4 runs. In the next game against the United States of America, he bagged a golden duck and ended the league stage with just 5 runs to his name.

Matthew Hayden touted Virat Kohli as a world-class batter and claimed that on surfaces, where par scores are 160-170, experience of Kohli will be vital. He pointed out team won't be able to get the best out of him at number three and hence he should open. Speaking on Star Sports Press Room, he explained: 

"Kohli in any condition is a world-class batter. These [Caribbean] are venues where you have to construct an innings and think about the kind of realistic totals that are possible in these different venues. Outside of St Lucia, par scores are in the range of 160-170 and Virat, with all his experience, will be able to work out what to do, like hitting spin towards the windward side, depending on how significant it is. 

"Look, conditions in the USA were extremely tough, no one likes that. Everyone wants to see these great champions playing freely. But it's not necessarily going to be the case. That's why experience counts. I said it during the IPL as well, if Kohli was going to be in the team, he needs to open. Virat at three, I don't think we'll get the best out of him. You can't just turn up and blast 250 on these wickets, you need thinking cricketers."

He will show you why the Indian selectors have had faith in him at that position - Matthew Hayden on Virat Kohli 

Matthew Hayden while talking about Virat Kohli cited the example of David Warner, explaining how the opening batter has adjusted to conditions. He expressed his confidence that Virat Kohli will prove why he is being trusted to open, suggesting batter that he should keep his strike rate up. He explained: 

"You look back at David Warner's performance this World Cup - in Barbados on a sluggish wicket, he made 30-odd [39 in 16 balls vs England]. It was a really well-constructed thirty. It depends on what your benchmark is. Are you looking at 100s, 50s, strike rate? The way Warner came out on a pretty [tough] wicket and blew the game away, that's what Kohli is going to be challenged with in the Caribbean. 

"Just leave him alone. He will show you why the Indian selectors have had faith in him at that position. He needs to continue to have a great strike rate. We've clearly seen a pattern emerge here at the World Cup where those six overs [powerplay], you have to be in front of the game. It's too hard to catch up. If you're looking at the back half of the game, it's trouble. You must be clinical in the first ten," he concluded.

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Matthew Hayden Virat Kohli ICC T20 World Cup India National Cricket Team Afghanistan National Cricket Team